By: Nabil Rodriguez*, J.D.
New Mexico House Bill 356 that included recreational marijuana measures was passed by a narrow margin of 36-34 through the state House of Representatives on March 7, 2019, but not after being significantly amended from its original form. The original Bill would have established a retail cannabis system of licensing for private businesses and allowed for individual home-growth licenses, but the recent action on the House floor altered both provisions.
Under the initial draft of the Bill, licensed home growers would have been allowed to cultivate up to six mature and six immature plants. However, this provision was eliminated in the most recent version published from the House floor vote.
The provision for state-controlled marijuana retail operations was also added on the House floor. This provision was picked up from Senate-introduced legislation Senate Bill 577, and would primarily put recreational cannabis sales in state-run stores because under the current proposal now advancing to the State Senate, private cannabis retailers could only be licensed in areas where there are no government-run operations within 25 miles.
Next, the bill heads to the Senate Finance Committee and, if approved, to the chamber’s floor for Senate approval. Once approved by the Senate, the Bill would move forward to the Governor’s desk for signing.
New Mexico State Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham stated support for legalizing marijuana during her gubernatorial campaign last year and is expected to sign the bill into law if it reaches her desk.
Now’s the time to start thinking about your business structuring if you intend to apply for a business license. Greenspoon Marder has a satellite location in Albuquerque, New Mexico and would be happy to speak with you. Please reach out to
Rachel Gillette with questions. * Nabil Rodriguez is not an attorney.